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Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Wheel of Fortune  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This is an interesting book collection of poems which all seem to have a basis in the Tarot cards, itself a daunting endeavor. I would recommend it to anyone out there in WDC Readers Land who is interested in poetry that is not run-of-the-mill and isn't afraid to be experimental.

Write on!
alfred
2
2
Review of Darwin's Journey  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Superbly written. The salient details at the end are a true surprise.

One should always listen to the local elders.

Write on!
alfred
3
3
Review of Fairy Tales  
Rated: E | (3.0)
I found this with the random read.

I like what's on the page, but to my curious nature there is not enough detail of what is going to happen between Jenny and David and what it is that skips generations.

Good flash fiction needs to have as many details covered in the body of the story as possible. Like any other story without size constraints, the reader needs to come away not having any essential questions in his/her mind which are still unanswered.

If this was an entry for a contest last year, you are not free to go back to it and explore the details which would make this into a completed story with no strings left dangling.

Write on!
alfred
4
4
Review of Bring Me Home  
Rated: E | (3.0)
I found this through the random write.

You've written an interesting flash fiction story with a curious ending. I'm not so startled by the sci-fi twist (which I just discovered you listed as a genre) as to the assumption that she thought he wanted to break up. The way you phrased it I understood he wanted out. Perhaps in a future revision this could be expanded upon so that it's absolutely clear to the reader who wanted to break up with whom and why she allowed him to leave in the state he was in.

The ending happened a bit too quickly, the surprise being a focal point that was almost ignored. I would have liked you to go into a bit more dialogue before you have him walking out.

Write on!
alfred
5
5
Rated: E | (3.0)
The random read brought me this poem.

I have written many ghazals and respect your knowledge on this subject. Perhaps in Persian or Urdu the word order of a typical phrase places the negative word "not" at the end, but in English, this simply does not work grammatically. I pair it with my typical comment of rewriting the natural order of words in rhyming poetry in order to have the rhyme word at the end.

The only stanzas where the word "not" is at its proper place are those using "I know not."

Write on!
alfred
6
6
Rated: E | (3.0)
The random read sent me this poem.

Your title is catchy. I like the poem's general idea, but the opening "Grey's Anatomy" stanza adds nothing because it's isolated and doesn't reoccur elsewhere in the poem.

At the end of the third stanza, the triple exclamation points are too typical of text messaging: even one serves no purpose.

I would eliminate the text messaging lines like "Guess what", "I guess it's a first for that" and above all your exclamation "Geeezzzz....." That would have been the only place in this poem that the exclamation point would have been useful and acceptable. An ellipsis, what you've used after this word, is only three periods separated by a space ... Not glued to the last word...

Write instead: "...works on everything.//It didn't seem to.//My heart just cracked again." The extra commentary words, get in the way of the seriousness of this poem.

Lines like "if you don't have the right terminology" would be better in the first person, i.e. "I didn't have the right terminology.//I never found it."

These are just ideas. Take them with a grain of salt if you think this poem is fine just the way it is.

Write on!
alfred
7
7
Review of Listening  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I found this with the random read.

It's fun, well written and the pace is good until the end surprise, which worked perfectly in spite of the first sentence.

Perhaps the line after the tiny human (don't want to spoil anything) could use a bit of development. It was the only thing that left my mind with a question mark.

I was glad to read this good flash fiction piece.

Write on!
alfred
8
8
Review of Shall we fear  
Rated: E | (1.0)
The random read led me here.

I always read the text of static items before looking at the author's introduction or genre selections.

Thus, since your first line is also your title, I have the word "fear" as an important part of the poem.

The lines from "they will grow // and have a healthy ego" to the end speak of children for me. Why fear children growing up in a healthy atmostphere?

So then, confused about what your text says coupled with my initial reaction surrounding the title/first line combination, I get to your introduction of "another mothers (lacking the apostrophe) day poem..."

And even knowing the intent behind why you chose to write this text, I'm completely at odds with everything you've placed on the page.

So I obviously understood nothing of your intent. Which is not all my fault. When a writer does not truly succeed in communicating his intent in a way that a normally educated reader (and fellow poet) can interpret correctly, something is amiss.

Write on!
alfred
9
9
Review of Swaying Peace  
Rated: E | (3.5)
The random read led me here.

I like the simplicity in all but the fourth and fifth stanzas. The prayer opening and closing the poem is lovely. Perhaps in the final stanza adding the word "let us ALL come together" would give a more unifying message.

In the third stanza, I do not like "with running step//and stomping feet" because they are fairly negative clichés about the AmerIndian population. Your first stanza in its wording and the "ancient calumets" of the second stanza clearly establish the population you are honoring.

The two question stanzas get too complicated. The first seems rather pejorative to me as if this might be taking place at an amusement park with non-Indian population imitating the ceremonies. In the next one, you ask a rather complicated and fairly generalized question. If you choose to edit this poem, I would strive for the same simplicity.

In the bomb stanza, if you look carefully at the grammar, the essential words are "the smoke from bombs rises into the night air." Personally, I think "bombs dropped" is awkward in this sentence and that "dropped" is understood by the beginning words.

Write on!
alfred
10
10
Review of Cathie I'm Here.  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
The random read led me here.

This is a tender poem of farewell, probably where death arrives.

I like the simplicity in most of the text.

There are perhaps too many positive words in this poem which do not evoke the finality of this separation for the reader not having read "death" in the genres you chose.

For instance, a simple change "But I fear there is another path..."

The last detail is that in the 21st century, poets must begin to get away from old-fashioned manner of reversing a normal word order so that a rhyme word falls at the end of the line. I'm speaking of "My tears for you I must swallow." Only in poetry will one hear these words written thus: "I must swallow my tears for you." This is also true for the "friendship" line.

Write on!
alfred
11
11
Review of Rain  
Rated: E | (2.0)
The random read found this text for me.

I would not use the word poetry to describe a series of words, all describing some aspect of a particular subject set in advance. It reads like an exercise in vocabulary. For me there is nothing poetic in a mere list of words.

It is a shame that you did not include the entire rules for the way this text needed to be written in order to comply with the contest's desire so that non-members like myself could better judge your success.

I'm not sure that if I wrote a poem of twenty, single-word lines, using my favorite words from the dictionary and calling it "dictionary" that it would have a lot of success. I don't believe this type of a text would have any use in an context other than a school assignment for developing descriptive powers.

That being said, this is possibly exactly what the contest organizer(s) wanted. Without all the necessary information, I can only react to this as an avid reader and writer of poetry.

I wish you good luck.

Write on!
alfred



12
12
Review of The Sound of You  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I found this using the random read.

My first impression was that your words seemed distant, although I found them reassuring in their poetry. The way they melt together is the sign of a poet's aptitude. It's almost like they were written for me, coaxing me to read them again and let their secret blossom from my own "dormant grounds."

And then it hit me. Like a wave of emotion.

I'm sorry I did not recognize the worth of this sonnet after the first read. That is not your problem, but mine.

I've said for years that love poems are impossibly difficult to write, because the vocabulary society places upon them is old and tattered. Here you have written your own love poem with your own vocabulary and it is stunningly beautiful and honest.

Thank you for this poem.

Write on!
alfred
13
13
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Random read. Again.

I see it's one of your poems so I know I will be reading a well-constructed poem.

It wasn't a favorite until I got to the last stanza. Then it all clicked into place. I must admit I rarely read a writer's introduction before reading the text itself.

Now that I have put all of the pieces together, I think this is too serious in its form. It reads too much like a how-to-not-get-stuck-by-love manual, so the surprise at the end reads more like a "how am I going to finish this poem?" instead of a deliberate act of literary defiance. For example, your very first line pairs perfectly with the ending, but it is more of this kind of line that I wanted in this particular text.

Write on!
alfred

14
14
Rated: 13+ | (1.0)
The random read sent me to this item.

Children of 8 and 9 and a half need to be potty trained? The initial premise is very troubling.

As I know nothing about your writing, the lack of systematic capitalization of the children's names and at the beginning of sentences bothers me. There are enough typos that aren't of the "his/her" type that a spell-checker won't underline that this makes me wonder why you were in such a hurry to place this in the public eye before making sure you'd done your proofreading job.

It also ends in the middle of a sentence.

So I ask myself "how does this author want me to react?" Like a teacher pointing out each error, or a reader telling him/her that because of the errors my appreciation goes downhill on a regular basis? I'm not an English teacher although capable of taking you word by word and correcting errors or suggesting ways to make your text clearer in my mind. But both of these things are not the reader's job.

As for the story itself, you have a lot of run-on sentences, like this is truly the very first draft necessary to getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper. It seems like there was no revision and that the unfolding of your story was not at all clear to you at the moment you posted this.

Most readers click on the next link without leaving a comment -- positive or negative -- when faced with a text like this one. I have decided to respond.

alfred
15
15
Review of Not Today A**hole  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
The random read brought me this story.

It's cute and girly, nothing wrong with either. I don't know, however, why a woman would want to force a man to wed her if he's been treating her poorly. But that's another discussion. He can still go on beating her or cheating on her.

I read this because it is short. Not that long pieces bother me, but because long fiction pieces where the author has not double-spaced between the paragraphs is extremely tiring to read. So, for the comfort of future readers, would you please go back and double-space when needed?

I wrote the adjective "cute." I did so because you felt the need to write this story like it was poetry and added rhyme ever so often. In my opinion, this distracts from the text. Unless, of course, you bother all of your friends because you rhyme all the time when you speak!

There are a few errors in the text, both in grammar and spelling, that need to be corrected in your revision of this piece. It's not quite what I call "putting your best foot forward." Spell-checkers won't underline his when you meant to write hers or correct an improper verb tense. That we must do for ourselves.

Write on!
alfred
16
16
Review of "Cling"  
Rated: E | (2.0)
I found this with the random read.

You appear to have written a small prayer.

What bothers me is that it is hard to follow. In the first line, you need a comma between "hand" and "hold."

In the second stanza, "whom" is improperly used. You have this problem in the last stanza with the words "who's" and "whom" a second time. In this same stanza "promised" is not correct.

There are many internet pages concerning the proper usage of confusing words like who, whom, whose, and who's. Perhaps it is time for you to master these words so you can more easily share your thoughts with a wider group of people.

Write on!
alfred
17
17
Rated: E | (2.0)
The random read has pulled this up several times this morning. I take that as a sign I must say something to you.

I am sort of at a loss to do so.

There are many strangely worded images in this poem. Imagery in poetry is a good thing. However, you often use multiple adjectives and there is a tried-and-tested order in which they should appear so they are easier to follow and understand. Here it is:

1) Determiners – a, an, the, my, your, several, etc.
2) Observations – lovely, boring, stimulating, etc.
3) Size – tiny, small, huge, etc.
4) Shape – round, square, rectangular, etc.
5) Age – old, new, ancient, etc.
6) Color – red, blue, green, etc.
7) Origin – British, American, Mexican, etc.
8) Material – gold, copper, silk, etc.
9) Qualifier – limiters for compound nouns.

Internet is filled with information concerning this. I originally found a variation of this list here on WDC.

In your first stanza, "booms" is both a noun and verb. Following it is "frail", which is an adjective. A word qualifying a verb must be an adverb, so there is a difference between the intent you wanted to convey and my conception of the words you chose. You might write instead "Frail thunder booms" but "boom" implies a certain number of decibels rarely described as "frail." So either you need another adjective/adverb or another verb. There are endless choices.

There are other areas of the poem where I might go into the same analysis, but I'm not here to teach you the finesse of writing a poem but to tell you about my impression of your success -- relative, total or failed -- when reading this poem.

For me, there is too much that needs to be corrected or edited in order for me to understand what you want to share.

alfred
18
18
Rated: 18+ | (1.0)
The random read picked this out for me.

My job reviewing is to try and help people improve their writing.

This short text is filled with text-messaging abbreviation and so many misspelled words that I simply do not want to try and guess what story you are trying to tell.

In my opinion this belongs in a private notebook and not for public display. If this paragraph is any indication, you do not seem to have learned the basics of writing -- grammar and spelling -- in order for a more serious writer to do anything than proofreading what you should yourself have done before putting this here on WDC.







19
19
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
The random read found this for me.

I usually don't read a poet's introduction to the poem I'm reading and must say I was fairly lost without it. For me, this could have been a sci-fi pilot in some sort of invented contraption. Perhaps that is an OK interpretation.

Your poem is filled with lots of vivid images, sometimes a bit cliché (without the feel of a clock's//outstretched hands//ticking time out of existence//or wind rushing)

My only suggestion is to find a way to place more precise details into this poem so that your readers do not need further words from the poet to understand what the poem is truly about. If this were placed in an anthology, it would have to stand on its own. For me, it does not yet do so.

Write on!
alfred
20
20
Rated: E | (1.0)
The random read led me to this strange "word of wisdom."

One of my dictionaries says: "Accrue: to happen or result as a natural growth, addition, etc." This seems to be a word more appropriate to discussing financial matters, which, of course, are important in love.

So, have I translated correctly?
If the leadings (is that like leggings, which highlight certain forms of the bearer (or is that better expressed "wearer"?)) do not lead to the right decisions and actions (are they irrevocably the same for all of us who have the misfortune of seeking love?), locate the hidden lust and slaughter it?

So, do you mean that if love is not true and therefore can only be considered lust, we must all resort to murder? What's wrong with a good roll in the hay?

As you can probably see, I understood nothing of this element from your "quotes and words of wisdom that inspire and uplift the soul".

Do you have a collection of them which are just as confusing?

Write on! I hope this finds other readers for whom it is understandable and their true cup of tea.

alfred
21
21
Review of That Night  
Rated: E | (4.5)
The random read found this little gem for me.

I'm glad I'm no longer restricting myself to poetry for there are a lot of interesting flash fiction pieces to be discovered.

You kept my interest from the beginning to the end. And that's all a reader cares about.

The surprise is a good one, a mix of genres and a bit of suspense. Everyone (thing?) has its own hunger...

Write on!
alfred
22
22
Rated: E | (5.0)
The random read sent me this lovely poem.

Your writing is always well penned and sincere. I love the premise of windows in heaven. I agree.

Mother poems are hard for me to read, because my mother is dead and our highly conflictual relationship has me happy about that fact.

Your text here did not go overboard in the direction of all mothers, but remained a poem about your mother.

Thank you for this lovely read.
alfred
23
23
Review of Gutshot  
Rated: E | (3.0)
The random read chose this for me.

Flash fiction is hard to write. Each word has to stand on its own and push the reader forward to a logical ending.

At first, this seems like the comeuppance due to a hunter, shot by a nature lover. And this may indeed be what you had in mind.

What throws me off is your ending when you compare your protagonist to Jesus, thinking he might himself rise again also. This thought only bothers me because nothing in the beginning of the text here implies that the man is pious and out hunting only to feed himself in the most humane way, in the way a larger animal would hunt a smaller one for its meal.

A tiny detail to make a sentence in the first paragraph easier to understand: write instead "For weeks he'd been watching the edges..."

My suggestion if the contest has not closed is to modify this text a bit to justify my interpretation of your closing if it is indeed your intent so that this does not become a question mark for the readers judging the completion and credibility of your story.

Write on!
alfred
24
24
Review of The Tiny Flower  
Rated: E | (3.5)
The random read found this for me.

I was caught up by the tiny flower/weed and its story. I loved the idea that it could talk, and that further on the grass did also. That's original. Unfortunately, I found that you repeat yourself too much in the second and third paragraphs and the writer in me lost interest.

That is, until I got to your Surprise Ending which I didn't expect at all. Advice to readers reading this review: the ending is worth the small amount of time you'll need to discover its brilliance.

So bravo for the initial idea and especially the ending. The details of the central part need to be honed down and the variations on the same ideas eliminated.

Write on!
alfred
25
25
Review of Never cure  
Rated: E | (3.0)
The random read found this for me.

I agree thoroughly with the state of modern medicine. There is unfortunately more money to be made (not necessarily by the doctors trying to "cure" us though) by prolonging the inevitable than finding ways to cure.

This being said, I am not sure whether as a fellow poet I would call this poetry. Your opening line is very poetic. There is rhythm and rhyme and that pleases the poet in me. In the second line, you use a first end rhyme and maintain the rhythm. Again this pleases me. In the following lines your poetry disappears. Your "rant starts and you express yourself like one does on FaceBook with a matter-of-fact tone and you lose your poetic emphasis.

I have no suggestions on how to improve the poetry in these words, understanding fully the importance this subject seems to have for you personally.

Perhaps develop the ideas into a short article where you can hit all the nails on the head and point fingers in all the proper directions?

Write on!
alfred
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